See you again, space cowboy

Cowboy Bebop is an animated show that ran from 1998 to the early 2000’s which featured exciting and gorgeous animation, big action sequences along with a well written plot, and dynamics between the characters that equaled the formula for a smash hit. This anime is only a year younger than I am, but has stood the test of time when it comes to relevant animated shows over the years. Usually, with the way that the anime content comes out, it’s in one ear and out the other when a season of a show ends. Cowboy bebop, however, is critically acclaimed even to this day. Using very interesting combinations of styles and flavors, a really unique anime experience emerged unlike any seen before. Boasting hybrid themes of space, bounty hunting, smooth animations, and cowboys an extremely unique and interesting story unfolded over those years, and ended with one of the most powerful and memorable quotes in the anime community for all time:

“See you space cowboy.”

This show is a show that I always acknowledged and respected for what it was, a grandfather of the genre that put anime above a small time thing for children and explored a deeper and more engaging plot and visual style that can appeal to all kinds of audience members. When I was in high school, a good friend of mine highly recommended it to me. He was insistent that I checked the show out, and even offered to lend me a copy of his bluray disk set of the show.

It was later that I found out that him and his brother watched the show and they were looking for someone else to watch it so they could finally have someone else to talk to about their favorite parts. Someone to share their adventure with and talk about all the crazy details to the animation and character development.

And then after that. . . I learned that his brother had cancer. They wanted to share this experience the two of them had together watching the show with someone else. His brother wanted a way to pass something on, since he couldn’t pass on a legacy, then maybe he could pass on something that really resonated with him.

After all these years, cowboy bebop is back in the spotlight. Hollywood has somehow gotten their hands on the rights to the material and will be doing a live action remake of the show as a feature film. I am highly skeptical as anime to English movie adaptations have always been trainwrecks, and to see the last memories I have of something so genuinely good and well made turned into what could be a disaster I am pretty discouraged in there being a good quality remake.

http://www.newsy.com/stories/anime-cowboy-bebop-to-get-live-action-adaptation/

In this Newsy video, the rest of the minor information I didn’t go over gets covered here, so be sure to pop in and give it a watch to see all the things I didn’t mention.

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This blog is not a paid sponsor!

Hello everyone, it’s “ya boi” Brody again, here with a fan-TASTIC new product called NEWSY! . . . is what I would say if I was being paid to sponsor this sight, but rather I am doing this out of the kindness of my own heart. Newsy is a site that has this interface and content that is aimed towards the hip and young demographic that’s quick and on the go. The content Newsy produces is geared towards the how and the why of things, and more specifically, what the impact of the content they are explaining and how it might effect you in the grand scheme of things.

The content Newsy produces is definitely a ‘here and now’ type of story writing. The stories are the utmost current and fresh information as it develops, so you can hear and see it unfold as more information comes out. Mostly their popular and upcoming stories are very serious and reserved pieces on current political states and world issues. These would be stories located under their “headline” news, but they also have content that is a bit more diverse and playful, ranging from current pop culture to tech reviews and showcasing in addition current US/worldwide policies.

There is a spectrum of content ranging from the serious politics side, to the fun everyday life. It’s a site where you can see a “Cars 3 review” along side a look back at historical American shooting tragedies. The site has a little bit of everything and is extremely easy to navigate. Overall it’s a well designed site with plenty of content to satisfy a very diverse audience.

Source: http://www.newsy.com/

Hyperlocal news and apathetic views

Hello once again and welcome to another episod- I mean, another POST about things and whatnot that I am going to talk about. Right now we are going to take a look at something called “Hyperlocal news”. Basically, the concept of hyperlocal news is that it’s a really focused and precise news outlet on a certain topic, community, group, etc. that deals with information, news, and concerns on related topics. This can be something like neighborhood news, a small community news, maybe even some kind of online forum about something in pop culture. Now, this sounds good in theory, a very concise and focused news outlet for a specific topic, but what you may not know is that this news outlet, when in practice, actually doesn’t do as strongly as you might think.

I explored some sites to get a better idea of why these wouldn’t grab attention and gain revenue, but I had some hunches already. I started with an article on a website for Berkeley, California known as Berkeleyside.com. The article felt like a farewell post, the tone, the boasting of how they make a profit, but all in all it wasn’t a cry for help. It was them explaining how they were able to keep their heads above water: journalistic partnerships, ad revenue, and by being generally interesting. Looking at their current page, they seem to have taken a more modern approach by putting their hat in the ring of politics and current events.

I also visited Baristanet.com, about local events and goings on for Montclair, New Jersey. Thematically, it is supposed to be a small down chatter and info page, like a conversation one would have at a local coffee shop. While they explain that they have a small editing and graphic design staff, they pay for their expenses with the ad revenue they draw in. While this page doesn’t seem to be struggling in any way, they are definitely small time but like it that way.

Finally I checked out an interesting site called 55423.info. The number is the area code for Richfield, Minnesota, which is where the site is based. What makes this page more unique than the others is that it’s actually a learning experience. The founder is a journalist that uses the site as a way to give local students a hands on experience in managing, writing, and editing for a website in journalism. The school doesn’t pay for the site, he does not run ads, and he himself pays for the maintenance out of pocket. While he himself secures the funding, he also must compete with an additional local news outlet that showed up several months after he created this one. The struggles with funding are more or less in the back of the issues he focuses on, and is geared more towards helping students get the hands on education they need.

Will all that being said, I want to come back to my theories. At first I had two major ones: I think the sites might be failing because a lack of traffic, and a lack of income. In a sense, I am only partially right on both. First off, of course there is going to be a lack of traffic. The thing about hyperlocal is that they are so specific to a single community for them to expect a lot of traffic from more than that would be unrealistic. As far as lack of income, I am surprised to find out there actually is working sites up without financial despair. The funding mostly comes from partnerships and working ad revenue, so there is stability there.

As far as I could tell, the real issue with hyperlocal was it’s biggest strength too: it’s concentrated audience. If you want to have good local news that pertains and matters to you, it’s important to visit and support these small ‘mom and pop’ businesses of the journalism world. Who knows, maybe if you do well enough at being active in their little community they might even ask you to hop on board.

Sources:
http://www.archives.cjr.org/news_startups_guide/2011/10/berkeleyside.php

http://www.berkeleyside.com/

http://www.archives.cjr.org/news_startups_guide/2011/01/baristanet.php

http://www.baristanet.com/

http://www.archives.cjr.org/news_startups_guide/2012/03/55423info.php

http://www.55423.info/

Taking a look at photo journalism

Hello again, it’s me, “ya boy borb” going off about another topic: photography. We see all kinds of pictures, photos, ads, and media from all kinds of outlets a day like facebook, twitter, instagram, television, the internet, and many more. What kind of images do we see that stick with us and keep that thought in our head? You ever hear a catchy or annoying (or both) song at the grocery store and all day you sing it to yourself and then get upset that it won’t get out of your head? Well, I am sure it comes as no surprise that we’ve all been there, but what about with photos? I personally don’t feel like there’s ever a photo that I actively think about that makes me feel moved. Photos to me are impactful once you see them, but I move on relatively quickly. That’s why I think I want my aim for my next journalism project to be about ‘a memorable photo’.

For this project I want to find a picture that stands out, and sticks with those that see it. I want something bright in colors, to stand out visually, but maybe perhaps very disconnected or wacky and unique compared to the world around it. Something that makes you take a moment to absorb fully what you are looking at. That’s why I decided that there is no better place to get a picture like that than the visual disconnect capitals of the world: New York and Las Vegas.

There are all kinds of gimmicks in the streets of NY and LV: people dressed in mascot costumes preaching about the end of days, or people in impersonation get ups trying to score a quick buck off a hastily practiced voice impersonation. All I am trying to say is that I plan on finding a very exciting, visually complex and mentally disorientating image that makes you take a second look. I know, if not guarantee, that a photo exactly like this can be found within some kind of popular photo reel of ‘the people of [New York/Las Vegas]’ and I am going to bring it right to you.

Service Journalism overview and you!

Hello everyone, I usually don’t begin my blogs by addressing the audience so directly, but this one is going to be a little bit different. Here I am going to just do a quick rundown on what you can expect to see in my upcoming blog posts about a “Service Journalism” type story. I plan on doing coverage of the topic on “Safety while attending a concert”. I am aware how there are very diverse musical performances, and not everyone will have to look out for the same kinds of experiences at the venues they will attend.

Keeping that in mind, that doesn’t mean there aren’t several blanket things that extend through concert and music venues in general. I have several acquaintances that are very big into the party and concert scene who are going to express their most important concerns and tips for having an enjoyable and safe concert going experience. Based of their experiences with their very diverse music attendance, as well as some of my own much simpler concert attending, I will provide a well covered and diverse blog entry that will go through the steps that you need to take in order to watch out for yourself at a concert, and give you a heads up on what to expect.

Getting wild but being safe

Concerts, shows, parties, whatever the name you give it, if you have ever seen a movie from the 80’s, you are familiar with “the wild party scene”. Big bands, big lights, big crowds, and a whole lot of screaming, concerts can be one wild night full of partying, fun, and loud noise. However, different venues and different bands can bring with them a whole different set of atmosphere and personalities. With that being said, hopefully with the combined experience of various concert going personalities I will interview, a clear idea of how to stay safe and have an enjoyable time at a party venue will be right in front of you.

When I say “a safe concert experience”, I won’t sugar coat it. Concerts can have a large crowd of very diverse people. If its a metal concert, or really anything with harsh noise, you can expect a lot of thrashing and flailing about. Perhaps at a more EDM style concert there might be a concern from you, my lovely reader, that there may be drugs involved. I plan on explaining what kind of crowds there are to expect with different genres of entertainment, and what kinds of stigmas they are associated with.

Now, I personally have been to a few concerts myself. I would say from my unique perspective of someone that goes, but not too often, I can give a general run down of the concert experiences. Just a general observation, my personal experiences, and what you can expect. A few of my friends, on the other hand, are much more avid concert goers. They are well versed in several different genres of music and performances, ranging from the very popular to the very strange and crude. I plan on interviewing them as this story develops to get their personal takes on what you should do to keep yourself safe.

Between me and my concert going acquaintances, we have a lot of very good and in depth experiences, as WELL as very diverse opinions and tastes in different genres. This allows us to have seen and been through many different venues, which will hopefully answer and questions or concerns you might have for your future endeavors at concert attending.

Behind the scenes: Dinner half baked with Drew Baker.

In my previous posts, I alluded somewhat that me and Drew needed to work out our schedules to find an appropriate time we could meet up for a small interview. Now, I am not going to pitch some kind of wacky adventure or goofy story, because none of that happened. Drew and I getting together for a small light-hearted chat wasn’t anything even close to jumping through hoops, but rather one of the more easy parts of the entire assignment. All I did was call him up, ask when he had some free time, and where he would like to meet up.

First off, I live in Tampa, while Drew lives in Orlando. I used to live in Orlando too, and I even went to high school with Drew. I was coincidentally talking to him several days before I was aware that I needed to have someone to interview for this course, and just by chance we happened to be talking about our high school memories, so the ideas just clicked. “I am interested in the story Drew has to say, so why don’t I interview Drew about his high school football career?” was my initial thought, “but he lives in Orlando, so I guess I need to make a day of it…”

That was probably the only rough part of this interview: meeting up. We agreed that it would be best if we both drove halfway to each other and met in the middle. We decided that since it would be around noon we would just grab something to eat and have our discussion there at the restaurant.

Before the interview I wanted to ask Drew some questions on what it was like being on the football team, what his experiences were once he was there, and just find out about his story. I knew he had prior experience on the football team, but I really didn’t know too much about it aside from he quit for a reason unknown to me. I thought to myself that this interview would be a great way to see the duality of the experience: playing and then not being able to play.

We both drove about an hour to see each other, then had our interview, caught up on each other’s lives, and then went our separate ways once again. It was a very pleasant experience just to see a friend again, but I am glad that I was also able to create something out of it. Hopefully the interview is a kind way for me to semi-praise and immortalize Drew as maybe a small compensation for the time he had to miss due to his injuries. I know it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but it’s something I am capable of doing.

An interview with Drew: reflections

When I interviewed Drew Baker and dove into his life, I came out blazing hot and ready to whip this story out and share my experiences as soon as we said our goodbyes. The window of time we had to even organize our little conversation in person was very slim, due to our schedules, so I had to make every moment count. I needed to pop onto my blog and wring out all the information I could into a post while details were still piping hot within my memory.

It was almost like I withheld what questions I was asking him for the reader and let them discover where the discussion went on it’s own path. Now that I have given the interview time to cool off and the dust has settled, I am returning to my blog and will go into further detail about the interview.

First off, my lead was simply just an introduction: what his significance will be during the interview (an ex high school football star) and an allude to his rise and fall. It was intentionally right at the start of the interview because the two of us are already comfortable. This might sound like a personal question saved for after some warm up (doesn’t it sound like something you don’t dive into? along the lines of “why did you stop following your dreams” perhaps?) but I know Drew well, and to him it was more of “let me get to know you better”.

Afterwards, my hook wasn’t necessarily a strong grabbing item, but rather more or less gradual questions that lead into each other. My soft hook was “He played only for his freshman year”, which raises questions such as “why did he quit?” and to some more experienced football savants, you would know that being on THE school football team during your first year is quite and accomplishment that you wouldn’t really just throw aside. What caused him to not want to play, or perhaps what MADE him unable to play?

Overall, my thesis was more or less when I asked “what stopped Drew from playing” because it implies this is going to be a story about Drew, Drew’s experiences, and what Drew felt about high school football. Stopping playing already explains the outcome, but perhaps his journey do that decision was full of unique moments regardless, and maybe his decision wasn’t as black and white as “I want to quit”, but more of a mixture of feelings that made him decide quitting was the best option.

Questions I asked him were things such as: Why did you quit football? How long did you play? What drove you to get back in there and keep playing despite your injuries? Was there anyone in particular that pushed you? [regarding that last question] and what did that person think when they knew you couldn’t play? Did you always like football? What were you going to do now that you can’t play? What do you think of the high school football scene? Do you think that football puts kids on a pedestal and is somewhat glamorized in a bad way? How did other kids treat you as a football player?

Overall it was more or less an enjoyable conversation with a friend rather than a suit and tie interview. You have more fun with it that way.

Dinner Half-Baked, with Drew Baker

My evening with Drew Baker was quite the interesting event. We decided that we would meet up at our favorite restaurant Applebee’s, a place he used to work at prior, in order to have an interview. We met around 7, ordered our drinks, and I started my questions.

I went to high school with Drew and he played for our school’s football team. He told me he was a middle linebacker for Lake Mary high school, and that he played for only his freshman year. I asked if he quit due to him disliking the sport, or if he had his own reasons.

“I had to stop due to an injury where I was speared during practice,” he explained, “I was walking back into my team formation then I suddenly gained consciousness in an ambulance. Turns out I got speared in the back, uh spearing is when someone rams their head into you, and it hit me in the spine. It was so hard I blacked out. My thoracic vertebrae 11 and 12 were shattered and I had to have surgery.”

When I asked him what he did after that, considering he would be unable to play, his answer surprised me. “My dad talked me back into it,” Drew began, “He was really supportive and encouraging of my recovery and getting back out there. He told me that ‘you should always finish what you start’, and to me that is one of the best pieces of advice he has given me, I always hold it close to my morals”. I questioned Drew if he felt his father was pushing him, to which he explained “I was pushing myself, my two uncles, my father and my own self all played football. There was a tradition that the ‘Baker boys’ played football in this family, and I just love the sport so I would continue to play no matter what.”

Drew played for one year, so of course I asked what really stopped him. “It was a second injury. I got spear headed again in the same location during an actual game and that took me out of commission for certain. There wasn’t any recovering back to football after that blow.” I asked if that was a let down to him and his family, and he responded with “well of course, but they still supported me in what I do.”

“When you were injured, how well were you treated?” I questioned Drew. “It was awful, everyone ignores you. That’s the reality of it though, you are only worth something when you can preform. Some kids only want to be your friend when you are on the team so they can get credibility by knowing you, but when I was benched nobody acknowledged me. It really sucked, but I took it with a grain of salt. It’s a shame how teens grow up only wanting popularity, so that’s why I was humble about myself. I never bragged about playing football, I didn’t want popularity I just wanted to play the sport I loved. I also didn’t want to brag in front of people that didn’t make the cut, I was just kinda playing you know?”

I asked what he felt about football players being glamorized and put on a pedestal, and how he felt about that: “it’s very unfortunate. It’s way to glamorized, people only want to be your friend for the title, and people that really love the game can go on to be successful. Some kids go to college on that, but you gotta remember that it’s all just one big competition, and think of how crushing would it be if you followed your dream, got super close, and some kid that was just ‘better’ than you took it all away?”

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Drew told me that after his time playing football was up, he moved onto the hobby of juggling. “A friend of mine [Brent] from football came with me and my family on vacation once after I invited him. He brought a duffel bag of juggling equipment and asked if I wanted to learn. Six months later I was preforming on big ticket venues like Universal, Disney, and the boardwalk. Juggling was definitely a really fun and engaging hobby I picked up afterwards.”

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With all those questions being said, our dinner finally arrived. We decided that the meal sounded better than more questions. I asked what his final words on the matter was and he just told me “thanks for having me and it was a pleasure being here” before we chowed down.

An Introductory Post

My name is Brody, and I am a current Mass Comm student. I Enjoy films, media, and aspire to create my own entertainment content. My interests in creating something that asks me to be both in front and behind the camera have driven me to pursue a higher education in this field. I am currently attending Hillsborough community college with plans on transferring to USF next term. I enjoy watching films, shows, playing games, and reading books all with the purpose with the unique storytelling elements they present. I have taken these journalism classes as a way to improve my story telling capabilities, and also as a way to get more practice in this field in general, as well as to simply satisfy the credits I need for my major. I plan on using this blog for nothing too specific, just posts and stories on ideas and things I am interested in as they come and go. Rather than a dedicated form of content, expect this blog to be more of a jack of all trades kind of site.

Thanks for stopping by